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Individual and Group Reactions to the Coronavirus Pandemic

Jerome S. Blackman, MD, PC

CEC: 1 Clinical Medicine (CM)


Dr. Blackman will discuss the emotional problems (healthy, unhealthy, and complex reactions) stimulated by the potentially life-threatening virus that has affected over 120 countries in the world. He will address and give examples of behaviors that may develop to guard against conflicts unconsciously stimulated by the real danger, also. From examples of people with preexisting mental disturbances to healthcare workers vulnerable to mental depletion to those who experienced the death of a loved one, various psychoanalytic theories and principles are needed to understand the myriad reactions and to determine the best type of intervention with any individual or group.

Attendees will learn about Selye’s concepts of stress, Slavson’s concepts of small groups, Volkan’s theories of very large groups, and Dr. Blackman’s synthesis of the past 50 years of psychoanalytic developmental theory that pertain to children and adults caught up in the current crisis. Dr. Blackman will also demonstrate different techniques used with different types of patients and in different types of situations.

Medical and psychological professionals, administrators, parents, and those bereaved by losses are welcome to attend. This lecture is "rated R," so please do not expose small children to it.

Attendees will:

  1. Understand the variables in adaptive vs. maladaptive reactions to the real danger of COVID-19.
  2. Become aware of large and small group dynamics that affect persons in affected areas.
  3. Demonstrate the effects of COVID-19 on pre-existing mental disturbances.
  4. Illustrate typical family problems that arise curing cabin fever for home quarantines.
  5. Explicate the development of obsessional cleaning as an overreaction and a pathological defense mechanism.
  6. Elucidate the difficulties of healthcare providers.
  7. Describe the interventions that may be of help in these varying situations.


Dr. Jerome Blackman

Dr. Blackman is a full professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk; distinguished professor of Mental Health at Shanxi Medical University, Taiyuan, China; consultant to Shanghai Mental Health Center, Shanghai, and lecturer in their 3-year program on personality disorders; training and supervising analyst with the Washington DC Freudian Society Training Center; past consultant to Virginia Worker’s Compensation regarding PTSD; author of three books: “101 Defenses,” “Get the Diagnosis Right,’ and “The Therapist’s Answer Book”; co-author, with K. Dring, of “Sexual Abuse against Children: Pedophiles’ and Abusers’ Dynamics, Development, Treatability, and the Law”, and over 20 professional articles concerning but not limited to the effects of trauma in abused children, laziness vs. shame, and the causes of male philandering.

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